It's August already.
People are starting to talk of fall.
Beach chairs, sand toys, and blowup pools have been relegated to the back corners of every store.
And there is nary a package of water balloons to be found.
Meanwhile, school supplies are front and center.
But I'm not ready for summer to be over.
Have you had enough summer time meals?
You know: picnics at the beach, or on a blanket at the park, in the back yard, barbecuing with friends, burgers, corn on the cob, and sweet, juicy watermelon.
All of those are wonderful summertime meals.
But this one might be my most favorite of all.It's pretty simple, and takes me back to the summer Aaron and I trained through Italy.
I'm sure that's one of the reasons I'm so fond of it.
We ate lots of riffs on this meal.
Cheese, bread, good olive oil, cured meat, chilled, white wine, and perfectly ripe, deliciously fresh, produce.
If it's a picnic, you can prepare everything right there, and it's lovely.
If you're at home, you can take some extra steps and grill some of the vegetables, and the bread too.
Then it's even lovelier.
It's the kind of meal that's best eaten outside, under a shady tree.
And with enough time to linger at the table afterward.
The Italians know how to do that over lunch.
We're much more likely to jump up and clean up, or dart off to the next event.
Americans have a hard time sitting still.
Or is it just me?
We snuck in a long(ish) lunch last Sunday when were home with sick kids.
It wasn't nearly as long as a proper Italian lunch would have been, but we did the best we could.
I had ripe tomatoes from my mom's garden, fresh mozzarella, and just picked squash, ready for grilling.
I picked some basil from my herb garden, grilled the bread, and we sat down in the backyard at the turquoise picnic table.
If I closed my eyes and ignored the kids, I could pretend we were back at Francis Lodge in Sienna.
I've got Italy on the brain right now.
I'm hosting my book club's next meeting this weekend at my house.
We read A Room With a View, and we're inspired by Italy, just like Lucy Honeychurch is in the book.
(Have you read A Room With a View? It is such a great book. You really should try it.)
So our party will be an Italian themed meal, spread out on a big table, under our sprawling avocado tree in my backyard.
There will be candles everywhere and lanterns hanging in the tree.
It will be very romantic.
I can't wait.
So another week goes by with next to no blogging.
I'm a little distracted.
Case in point, it's midnight and I'm up making things for the party.
What can I say?
It's how I get things done--late--in every sense of the word.
I can't wait to share pictures with you.
And to tell you about our trip to Palm Springs.
And the amazing cherry tomato pasta sauce I just made.
And so much more.
Why can't there be about 6 more hours in my day?
Hope your weekend finds you enjoying some favorite summer time moments, and meals!